Not All Opinions Are Created Equal

Some people believe in democracy and some say that you have to tolerate others´ opinions. I don´t.

Let´s say there´s a group of 10 people and everyone´s got a different opinion. These people are supposed to make a decision that matters to them all. What options do they have?

  1. Democracy. If everyone is a stubborn prick and sticks to their own opinion, you won´t get far with democracy. Also, this assumes that people make good decisions and have opinions based on facts. That´s simply not true and constitutes one of the problems of democracy.
  2. They decide at least one person whose opinion is more important than the others or who makes the final decision, a leader or judge so to speak.
  3. Whoever shouts the loudest wins (sometimes literally). The most logical decision doesn´t have any value if it isn´t screamed at the highest volume.
  4. Logical discourse. This requires experts or at least people capable of logic. It adds the problems of points 1, 2, and 3, although to a lesser degree.

As you can tell, the second option is the only one that has a chance of working.

How does an individual make a choice? Certainly not by asking every person alive for their opinion, which would give everyone´s opinion the same weight. A statistically significant survey requires more individuals than is reasonable, unless you got the money to do online surveys, for whatever they´re worth.

What an individual person does is comparing the opinions of the people they trust on a certain topic (which may or may not include themselves). Say that a guy benching 40 lbs tells you you´re doing your exercises wrong, you tell him to shove it. If Scot Mendelson comes along, you might listen. The point: If you trust your own expertise on a topic, that will be the main factor in making a decision. If you don´t have a clue, you will value the opinion of an expert more than that of a lay and perhaps more than your own. E.g. if you want a tattoo, you don´t trust your buddy when he pulls out a ballpoint pen. You go to a tattoo artist, because you value his expertise, and you tell your “buddy” to shove it, because your opinion on shitty home tattoos has more weight than his.

Case closed.

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